If gumbo is Louisiana’s official state dish, is BP the official state sauce?

The Louisiana shrimping season started this week, sparking some anxious speculation about the impact the BP oil spill will have on the industry, with consumers wondering if their shrimp cocktails will taste suspiciously like their local gas station.

But the promise of juicy, succulent fruit of the sea also gets mouths watering. As Buford “Bubba” Blue famously put it: “You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There’s shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That’s about it.”

In other words: Get in my belly! But just how safe is Louisiana shrimp and seafood? I decided to uncomfortably corner Ashley Roth, of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, and bother her with some really tough questions. Politically incorrect interview below!

SE: Okay, break it down for me. Will I die if I eat Louisiana shrimp?

AR: Absolutely not. We work closely with the federal agencies involved in testing. And the FDA, the EPA, everyone came back and said that Louisiana shrimp and seafood are safe to eat. In fact, it’s some of the safest food out there. There are other things to be concerned about, but Louisiana shrimp isn’t one of them.

SE: Last I checked, both oil and water are viscous. How, exactly, do shrimpers avoid catching oily shrimp?

AR: Well in the beginning, when the spill first happened, there were areas closed to fishing precautionarily. They were looking for oil in those areas, and kept areas closed if they needed to be. But as of Monday they opened up more waters and now more than 90% of our coast line is open to commercial fishing.

SE: So it’s not an issue of catching oily shrimp and cleaning them, but only catching clean shrimp?

AR: Oh yeah. No ‘oily shrimp.’

SE: So can I use Gulf shrimp to make my car run smoother, or should I still stick with Valvoline?

AR: I’d stick with Valvoline.

SE: If gumbo is Louisiana’s official state dish, is BP the state’s official state sauce?

AR: Oh, gosh. No. Stick with gumbo, but the official state sauce is probably tabasco.

SE: Here’s a tough one: What would a BP shrimp taste like? I imagine fruity notes with a walnut finish. The Exxon Valdez seal I ate was a little too gamey for my taste.

AR: Um, our shrimp don’t have any oil, so you won’t have to worry about it.

SE: Okay, Ms. Smarty Pants, so if we don’t have to worry about the oil, what about the dispersant? Should I specify that I’d like my next shrimp cocktail with the Corexit on the side, just to be safe?

AR: The dispersant has been tested as well. So far, all the levels of every toxin have tested great, and they have determined that there’s no cause to be alarmed about either the oil or the dispersant.

SE: Does a shrimp instinctively know to avoid an oil spill? If so, is it time to finally admit that dolphins aren’t so smart after all?

  • obumbler

    Tastes like chicken…

  • jeffersonian

    Remember – every oil-soaked pelican, turtle, dolphin, shrimp, oyster, wetland and beach is Obama’s politics in action – his personal gift or legacy. He could have accepted expert assistance – tools and technology – from DAY THREE – waived the Jones Act by Executive Order – but he CHOSE NOT TO ACT.

    He CHOSE to party, golf, fund raise, vacation, golf, fund raise, campaign, entertain – all of these things INSTEAD of taking preventative action.
    Yes, BP is at fault, no doubt – but a patriotic leader would have been interested in protecting his or her country and minimizing damages.
    In half a day of real leadership, he COULD HAVE taken steps to avoid the damages that will last a lifetime…but he CHOSE otherwise.

    Looks like Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers DID teach Obama something after all.
    Btw, the same Executive Order powers he COULD have used to waive the union protectionist Jones Act are the same powers he DID use to shut down all offshore drilling in the Gulf, further wrecking that part of an already fragile economy.
    Stupid, Subversive or an outright Enemy of the USA – you make the call – and vote accordingly!

  • LittleRedTarBalls

    It took me a while to figure out that this interview was supposed to be legit, although I’m still not convinced. What bothers me most is Roth’s statement that seafood testing is being done for dispersants. This is in direct opposition to an AP story published August 17 that reported that they are not testing for dispersants yet because they don’t have a good test for it. You can read the whole story here:

    As someone who’s been talking to everyone from scientists to fishermen to government officials in the Gulf region for the Little Red Tarballs project, the amount of half truths to outright untruths coming from those “in charge” is overwhelming.

  • tinteardrop

    You couldn’t pay me to eat shrimp…from anywhere…nasty creatures…even nastier food.

  • awlhattinokaddle


  • Dafney

    The Gulf folks themselves rallied at the site where Obama was “swimming” (not in the Gulf where he pored Corexit, but at Alligator Point near Appalachicola Bay) to tell Obama that that their seafood needed to be thoroughly tested with laboratory equipment and NOT the “smell” test currently being done. THE ENTIRE GROUP SAID THEY DO NOT WANT TO PRODUCE TAINTED SEAFOOD FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY; THEREFORE IT SHOULD BE TESTED FOR COREXIT POISONING.

    90% of the oil and gases is still below the surface. It is NOT gone, nor has it been “cleaned up”.